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Two Baby Storks Rescued in Primorye

17 july 2020
WWF Russia is taking care of two Oriental stork chicks that were rescued in Primorsky province and placed to the Rehab Center “TIGR” in Alekseevka. The priority now is to nurse the exhausted young birds.
Specialists from Primorsky Wildlife Management Department found rare birds in two carton boxes left on a roadside, someone carefully put them there but unfortunately didn’t inform special rescue services. It’s a miracle that the foundlings were still alive after staying so long without water and food.
Medical examination at the Rehab Center
WWF Russia
According to Aleksei Surovy, acting head of the Primorsky Wildlife and Protected Areas Management Department, “It’s hard to say what has really happened, we are trying to find this out. It could be a fallen nest. Adult birds flew away and abandoned the chicks on the ground. People tried to rescue them, put the chicks into boxes and left near the road. We are lucky to have the Rehab Center to accepts the young birds for recovery.”
The storks were very weak when arrived to the Rehab Center
Rehab Center "TIGR"
On the moment of arriving to the Center, stork chicks were so weak, that they could not even raise a head not to mention standing. The birds have suffered a serious stress, and with each day recovered from it in a cabin at the Rehab Center. Medical examination proved that birds were not injured, however their rehabilitation will take time, balanced feeding and human care.

The storks have a hearty appetite!

«Right now the chicks feel better, we placed them in an open enclosure. Both can stand up, wave their wings and eat well. They are about 1,5 month old. When they were found they weighted 3550-3400 grams which is the weight of a newborn baby. For us they are like human babies in need of our help and care,” comments Viktor Kuzmenko, head of the Rehabilitation Center “TIGR”.
The chick feel better with each day
Rehab Center "TIGR"
This is not the first case when rare birds of the Amur basin become patients of the Rehab Center “TIGR”. In summer 2019, a white-naped crane with an injured wing and two chicks of Oriental stork saved from the fallen nest went through a course of treatment here. Unfortunately, the crane was not able to fly and was placed to a safari park. The storks successfully recovered and were released into the wild in Evreiskaya province where they joined the flock and flew away to the wintering grounds in China. In November 2019, when migrating season was over and it was already snowing in the fields, a young white-naped crane was brought exhausted to the rehabilitation centre. He became the first heat-loving bird to stay for the winter at the Rehab Center. Despite the difficult task, the crane successfully survived the winter and in April 2020, it was released into the wild. All these rare large Red Listed birds were under the patronage of WWF Russia.

Video from the Rehab Center "TIGR"

According to Anna Serdyuk, PhD, senior coordinator of protected areas projects of WWF Russia Amur branch, «All cases of rehabilitation of storks and cranes at the Rehab Center “TIGR” in Primorye allowed us to accumulate invaluable experience, which is so necessary for qualified assistance to rare birds. We learned a lot about the diet and many other details of rehabilitation. It’s very important for us now to build a large open enclosure for such patients, where birds could be kept in summer and learn how to fly, as well as a warm cabin to keep birds in winter.”

Specialists of the Centre believe that the future of new patients will be no less successful. GPS-transmitters fitted on birds will make it possible to track their location.

According to GPS transmitters our last year's “graduates” are healthy and actively moving. One of the storks returned in spring from wintering grounds to Amurskaya province, stayed in the Amursky Wildlife Refuge, and now it was registered in the Tambovsky district. The second stork decided not to return home this year and spends the summer in the Huang He River valley in China. These two storks rescued and returned to nature are a true evidence of the professionalism of the staff of the Rehabilitation Center “TIGR”.

The Rehabilitation Centre “TIGR” is working with the support of WWF Russia, the Amur Tiger Center and the Presidential Grants Foundation.
For additional information please contact
Lead Project Coordinator